Saturday, April 11, 2009

Duped On Dunkel

Ok, ok, look -- it was only $1.50 and I was on a smorgasbord run, so I tried it. I did it, I tried it, and I'm sorry -- you satisfied? Michelob has a new offering on the market Dunkel Weisse, which is a dark wheat beer.

Now, I am a sucker for a Hefe-Weissen which is a lighter, unfiltered wheat beer with yeast at the bottom (excellent for a hot summer day). I recently had some craft brewed Weissen from Sweetwater Tavern where they brew their own beer which was truly yummy (we had to keep going back for more). This beer was a caramel cousin of the hefe-weissen and is a little like drinking a loaf of freshly baked wheat bread.

That's what I was thinking about when I picked up the latest offering from Anheuser-Busch. That's not what I got. Now, at first I had my hopes up -- the beer had that great wheat smell, beautiful brown-amber color, and a good head. The taste was a good solid wheat with a touch of sweetness on the front of the palette; the finish was the disappointment, as it went down watery and tasting a little thin.

Overall, it was an "ok" beer, but failed to thrill. It was similar in lackluster performance like Budweiser's new American Ale. Definitely a step up for these macro-breweries and likely to be radical for the Bud and Mic crowds who arent' accustomed to full-palette beers. It's hard to screw up wheat beer, which is its saving grace. For a more gratifying experience from A-B, try their Belgian style Shocktop Wheat.

To contrast, my follow up experience was with Weihenstephaner's Hefeweissbeir Dark, "The World's Oldest Brewery" since 1040. This beer is a true classic, a paragon of dark wheat excellence. Its malted wheat has a fuller feel in the mouth and the sweetness lingers on the finish. Right away, I could tell this beer was in a much higher class; far removed from the Michelobs of the world. Weihenstephaner is a Dunkelweiss worthy of the name.

Drinking good beer has ruined me -- I just can't go back to pale imitations from the "tastes great, less filling" crowd.

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